Sufjan Stevens. The Age of Adz. Asthmatic Kitty, 2010. (on CD)
I got the album based on the strength of the free-to-download track “I Walked.” I’m not nuts about the electronic sound he’s taken up now as much as the pseudo-classical orchestral sound he’s known for, but when it’s straight-forward and simple like it is on “I Walked,” it works extremely well. Sadly, a lot of this album is experimental, messy and pretentious. The final track, for instance, is 25 minutes long (for no good reason), and is completely interminable. It’s like he feels an obligation to fill up every minute of the CD. Still, if it had been judiciously cut down, there could have been a beautiful 40- or 50-minute album here to rival his best stuff.